Lightopia: Exhibition encompassing roughly 300 works on view at the Design Museum in Ghent

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Lightopia: Exhibition encompassing roughly 300 works on view at the Design Museum in Ghent
Daniel Rybakken, Andreas Engesvik, Colour Light voor Ligne Roset, 2011 © Photo: Kalle Sanner en Daniel Rybakken.

GHENT.- Over the past century, electric light has revolutionised our environment like almost no other medium. It has transformed our cities, created new lifestyles and working conditions, and has become a catalyst of progress for industry, medicine and communication.

Currently, new lighting technologies are bringing about profound changes in the domain of artificial lighting. This development is the subject of the Vitra Design Museum’s exhibition Lightopia. It is the first comprehensive presentation of lighting design, featuring examples from the realms of art, design, architecture and many other disciplines.

Lightopia encompasses roughly 300 works, including numerous iconic artefacts from the Vitra Design Museum’s lighting collection – which has thus far never been publicly presented – with works by Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Achille Castiglioni, Gino Sarfatti and Ingo Maurer. Other objects demonstrate the performative power of light, like the famous "Chromosaturation" by Carlos Cruz-Diez or the spectacular reconstruction of a discothèque from the year 1968, made entirely out of translucent plexiglass. The primary focus of the exhibition is on works by contemporary designers and artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Troika, Chris Fraser, Front Design, Daan Roosegaarde, Joris Laarman, realities: united and mischer'traxler, who illustrate the broad scope of new possibilities for designing with light. Among the exhibits are many interactive and walk-in installations that give visitors a direct experience of the elemental power of light. Through the dialogue of contemporary and historical works on display, Lightopia creates a sweeping panorama of lighting design.

With its interdisciplinary approach, Lightopia shows how lighting design has influenced modern living spaces. The exhibition also explores the current paradigm shift and places it in the wider context of cultural history.

At the end of January 2015 the city of Ghent organizes for the 3rd time the popular Light Festival, with light installations of high artistic quality, within which the Lightopia exhibition at the Design museum Gent fits perfect.

“Lightopia not only examines partial aspects of lighting design – such as light art or the design of luminaires. It is the first exhibition that also considers the many different facets of designing with light and establishes a connection with contemporary issues” - Jolanthe Kugler, curator of the exhibition

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